Lights, camera, action: The night movies came back to Saudi Arabia

Children await the film screening in Jeddah on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Lights, camera, action: The night movies came back to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Film fans went to the movies in Saudi Arabia at the weekend for the first time in 35 years.
Feature-length animated children’s films were screened at a makeshift cinema set up in a cultural hall in Jeddah — and full-scale movie theaters could open as early as March as authorities finalize regulations and a legal framework.
“We are working with government officials and private companies. In 90 days, we will have the details,” General Commission for Audiovisual Media spokesman Abdullah Al-Shamlani told Arab News.
Meanwhile cinema chiefs are doing their best to make film fans feel at home, with a projector, a red carpet and a popcorn machine at their temporary venue.
“There is no infrastructure for movie theaters, so we are trying to take advantage of venues to approximate the cinematic form,” said Mamdouh Salim, whose Cinema 70 brand has organized a week of screenings.
“We tried to use these films to be a starting point as the first cinematic screening after the decision on Dec. 11 to permit movie theaters.”
After watching The Emoji Movie with his wife and daughter on Sunday evening, Sultan Al-Otaibi, 28, said Saudis were happy to see movies in a cinema instead of staying at home.
“It’s more comfortable, more fun to have a change of scenery and an activity at the weekend. It is a step that was very late in coming but thank God it’s happening now.”
Saudi authorities expect to open 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by 2030, building an industry it hopes will contribute more then SR90 billion ($24 billion) to the economy and create 30,000 permanent jobs.
Regional and international cinema chains are also eyeing the Saudi market, keen to tap the spending power of the young people who make up roughly 70 percent of the population.
“I want to see everything because it is something new for Saudis,” said 30-year-old moviegoer Ibtisam Abu Talib, 30
“I hope everything is available — action, romance, children’s films, comedy. Everything, God willing.”


Saudi Arabian intellectual property authority launches online facility

Updated 15 August 2018
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Saudi Arabian intellectual property authority launches online facility

JEDDAH: The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property has launched an official website and accounts on social networking sites.
The website saip.gov.sa and @saipksa account is in line with the authority’s plan to raise awareness and knowledge about the importance of intellectual property as part of Vision 2030.
The online move will also improve performance according to the latest technical developments and emphasize the authority’s move toward digital transformation.
CEO Dr. Abdula Aiz Al-Swailem said that the new website and accounts will be a reference point for information on work carried out by the authority for individuals, and government and private bodies.
The Kingdom plans to organize, support, sponsor and enforce intellectual property issues in accordance with best international practices through the registration of intellectual property rights and the provision of relevant information, he said.
The website provides a collection of guides and information about intellectual property. It also allows users to access trademark regulations and copyright protection, as well as the patent system and graphic designs of integrated circuits, plant varieties and industrial designs.